Campaigns prepare run for the home stretch

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By MIKE EDDLEMAN

Early voting begins in just over eight weeks and candidates are ramping up for the final push in the lengthy, crowded 2018 race to Election Day.

Both the Republican and Democratic parties believe this election shows great promise for their candidates. Republicans are hopeful voters will stick with what has become tradition in Williamson County, while Democrats believe they are building momentum to challenge that tradition.

“Once again, Republicans have nominated a slate of candidates who have been active in the region for years, are clearly the best qualified, and represent the values of western Williamson County voters,” said Williamson County Republican Party Chairman Bill Fairbrother. “We are excited to have the opportunity to earn the support of Williamson County voters again this cycle. Our candidates are the experienced, common-sense conservative candidates that reflect the values of Williamson County voters.”

Democrats believe they have brought forward compelling candidates and are building momentum, which opens the door to victory on Nov. 6.

“Excitement is created by highly qualified candidates from the top of the ticket down to the bottom, from Beto O’Rourke, running for the U.S. Senate, to the bottom of the ballot where Williamson County has an outstanding candidate in every Justice of the Peace Precinct,” said Williamson County Democratic Party Chair Kim Gilby.

“The candidates are running on principles and are invested in the issues that really matter to and for the people of Texas.”

Gilby said the grassroots focus of Democrats will also make a difference.

“Thousands of grassroots volunteers are volunteering and donating because they feel that they are fighting for the future of our county, our state, and our country. Texas is changing and Texans have the potential to redirect the future of our entire country.”

Continuing to build on the way of life in Williamson County today is the key issue locally for Republicans.

“Williamson County did not become a great place to work, live, play, and raise a family by accident,” Fairbrother said. “We need to continue electing those who will continue to lead our community in the right direction.”

Both parties hope that on the local level, civility and courtesy will be hallmarks of all campaigns as Election Day nears.

“Basic respect should not only be expected, voters should demand it,” Fairbrother said.

Gilby hopes everyone will rise above past issues that take away from the message on both sides.

“Keeping a civil tone is difficult when our candidates’ signs are vandalized and destroyed, but Democrats in Texas have a long history of being civil because we have been in the trenches striving to give all Texans a fair shot at receiving a quality education, good and accessible health care, jobs with dignity and a fair and just immigration system that works.”

The key message from both sides highlights the primary difference in focus, as Republicans seek to continue on what they call a prosperous path.

“If you want to keep Williamson County safe, prosperous, and affordable, vote Republican,” Fairbrother said.

And the Democrats say it is time for change.

“Our key message to voters is this year is one of the most important elections of our lifetimes,” Gilby said. “Our Democratic candidates are amazing, qualified, and ready to work for all of us. It is vital for all Democrats to vote in this election.”

In the March primaries, just over 25,000 voters cast a ballot for the Democrats, while just over 35,000 voted for Republicans. Total voter turnout was at 20 percent.

Democrat turnout was about 6,000 less than the 2016 primary that included the presidential race. On the Republican side, more than 67,000 voted in the 2016 primary.

The deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 6 election is Oct. 9. Early voting begins Oct. 22 and runs through Nov. 2.

Watch The Independent each week for more in-depth coverage of individual races key to the local area, as well as more information on registration, voting times and locations as Election Day nears.

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